Zero Tolerance Policy

By: April Douglas
By: April Douglas

Eighteen-year-old Teralyn Dupayne says when it comes to school safety she has no worries, but ask her about Leon County's Zero Tolerance policy and she's got one problem.

"I carry a fingernail file in my purse, and if I pull it out my teacher will be like ‘why do you have that,’ because some people think it's a weapon," says Teralyn.

Interpretation is the key here. That's why Leon County School Superintendent Bill Montford wants to change Leon County's Zero Tolerance Policy, to add a personal touch.

"The changes we are making it will allow officials to look at each case on an individual basis," Montford says.

Montford says the proposed changes will make the Zero Tolerance policy more helpful than hurtful.

"Pepper spray, under old interpretation it was automatic expulsion, no questions asked, but we know in today's times, some principals may step forward and say it was warranted,” Montford also adds.

This means, area principals will have more say in which students stay and which students go.

"Discretion is good, because there are times that there are special circumstances and I think we should be able to take into consideration rather than lump all into one category," says Dr. Pink Hightower, Rickards High School Principal.

Rickards student, Teralyn Dupayne, appreciates the personal touch.


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